Wednesday Words #9

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“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Now I don’t always quote ancient Chinese philosophers and I don’t know much about Lao Tzu, but this proverb was just what I needed to hear today. I was (once again) feeling overwhelmed by all that I had to do.

I have to study for at least four whole hours each day?

I have to finish this 100 page reading assignment in only three days?

I have to be study and prepare for an exam that I will take in less than 2 weeks?

Those all sound so big and scary. Four whole hours. 100 pages. An exam and less than two weeks. How will I do it? But that’s when I remember that “a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” One single step.

Four hours of study? The first step is simply to sit down and actually study.

100 pages? I have to start by opening the book and reading the first page.

An exam in two weeks? I simply start studying.

There are definitely times when I need to look at the big picture. There are times to keep deadlines in mind. There are times when I really need that kind of motivation. But there are other times when I really just need to take that first step and watch as the 1,000 mile journey flies by.

And it’s when I stop living in the future and just start taking steps that I remember that my God is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). He isn’t just waiting for me at the end of this challenge. He is God with me. Right here, right now. Giving me strength to take that first step and every single one after it. He’s not far ahead at the finish line; He walks beside me, strengthening me, supporting me, and upholding me.

Instead of looking only at the big picture, I need to take that first step, remembering that my God is with me all the way.

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Wednesday Words #7

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Last week, I failed. I had a lot to do. I was way behind. I did a horrible job of looking ahead and a great job at procrastinating. I had a lot of fun doing a lot of things that really weren’t important.

This week, I’m reaping the consequences. I have a test coming up on Friday and I’m days behind where I should be. I’m in over my head and I’m not quite sure if it’s humanly possible to do what I need to do in a few short days.

At this point I have two options.

Option number one is to throw a pity party. I could just stop trying. I’ve messed up, haven’t I? I have every right to cry my eyes out. I can eat my emergency chocolate and play mindless games. Why not?

The second option is much more difficult, but at the same time it is much more rewarding. That is to recognize my failure, learn from it, and move on.

Yes, I failed. I often will. That’s life. That’s human nature. But that doesn’t have to define me. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

The courage to wipe my eyes and abandon my pity party.

The courage to finish strong, no matter how I’ve messed up.

The courage to try better next time.

The courage to learn from my mistakes.

The courage to lean on my God for strength.

The courage to trust Him to teach me through my failure.

I have failed. I will continue to fail. But I can remember this: the courage to continue is what really counts.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 
― Winston Churchill

Wednesday Words #6

For this week’s Wednesday Words blog post, I’m doing something a little different.  Throughout the week, I pin wise words and sayings to my Wisdom | Beautiful Sayings board on Pinterest.  I’ll share with you some of my favorites.  I tried my best to give credit to the person quoted as well as the makers of these beautiful pins.  If I didn’t, I’m so sorry.  If you catch something I didn’t, give me a holler in the comments!

Ignore the noise -- focus on your work.

“Ignore the noise. Focus on your work.” This has by far been my most repinned pin of the last few weeks.  I think that is because it’s really a reminder that we all need to hear (especially if you’re on Pinterest…?). I can say for me this one is pretty hard to live.  I am pretty easily distracted by anything and everything other than what I should be doing.  It’s something I’ve been working on.

I have no idea who came up with this little nugget of wisdom, but this pin came from Quotes Dump.

Enjoy the little things

“Enjoy the little things.” This is always a good reminder for me.  If I take time to notice the little things, I find joy in my surroundings, even when things are hard.  I encourage you to enjoy your little things as well!

I unfortunately was unable to find out who first said this or who made this lovely pin. :(

For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.

“For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I just think this really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?  Anger wastes the time we have to be happy in!

I once again have no source for this pin.

What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

“What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.” — Will Rogers.  Can I get an amen?  Many things can be solved through good hard work and clean living.  I’m with Will Rogers on this one.

What was your favorite of these four quotes?  What good quotes have you seen this week?  Comment and let me know!

Wednesday Words #5

It snowed again this evening. I think we’re all pretty tired of snow by now. I’m ready for winter to end so that spring can come. Winter definitely isn’t my favorite season. Since I was thinking about snow, I decided to search for snow quotes on Goodreads. Some were way too long and some were about Snow White or President Snow and not about snow at all. And then I saw this quote from A. A. Milne:

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

It really resonated with what I’ve been thinking. It may be snowing and freezing, or it may be a thunderstorm or just a bad day, but there is always something to be thankful for. This is why I love to keep track of those things I’m thankful for, whether keeping a list, pinning them, or blogging them on my Everyday Blessings Blog. Just a bit of thankfulness can completely turn my mood around. For example, quote above starts out in standard Eeyore fashion, quite depressing, in fact, but just that little bit of optimism and thankfulness changes the mood of the entire quote.

“It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "So it is." "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.” -- A. A. Milne

If it isn’t already your habit, I highly recommend taking notes of the things you are thankful for throughout the day. And if you want a bit of positivity coming in your inbox each day, follow my Everyday Blessings Blog. I post one thing I’m thankful for each day.

What are you thankful for today? Comment and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Wednesday Words #4

I was reminded again today of the importance of letting my worth be defined by Christ and not by what others think.  I have often stated, “My worth is defined by God,” but had not fully thought about what this really means for me.

I have always been a bit fearful of stepping outside my comfort zone.  I have realized that I have a fear of vulnerability, of laying bare my heart of hearts and being judged.  I fear what others would think if they really knew me.  So I stay balled up inside my safe little comfort zone.

But if I truly believe that my worth is defined by God, I don’t have to worry about what other people think.  I don’t have to be the person they think me to be if I know who I am in Christ.  If I know who I am and I am confident in what my Savior has called me to do, I can be free to be myself and not listen to the voices of others.  Yes, I will heed constructive criticism, yes I will learn from rebuke, but I don’t have to be defined by others judgments of me.

This is a topic near to my heart, so you will likely see more posts on this subject in the future.  For now, I’ll leave you with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson — “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  Through Christ, we can accomplish this!

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you don’t feel that your worth is defined by God or don’t know what that would mean or what it would look like, I recommend studying the Bible, namely the first few chapters of Ephesians.  Dig for the truth about who you are in Christ and what that means for you.  It will change your life.

Would you like to see a series on biblical worth and who we are as children of God?  Comment and let me know; I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject as well!

Wednesday Words #3

(Sorry this Wednesday Words post is so late! It has been pretty crazy at my house these last few days. Here are a few thoughts…)

I talk too much. Well, it isn’t that my mouth is always going, but I can get started on something and miss every chance to take it back. I’m an awkward person. Sometimes I start saying something that really shouldn’t be said but just keep on going anyway. I need to learn to jump on every chance to be quiet. As Will Rogers said, “Never miss a chance to shut up.”

"Never miss a good chance to shut up." - Will Rogers

 

Y’all, that statement may sound a bit harsh, but I can see the wisdom of it. In other words, it is better to keep quiet if you can. I know how it feels to “put my foot in my mouth.” It isn’t fun. It would make so much more sense to listen, rather than speak, if at all possible. There is a time to speak and a time to be quiet. Unfortunately many people think it is always a good time to speak. This is not always true.

Proverbs 17:28 (ESV) says, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” If you are not sure, it is usually better to keep silent. Don’t miss the chance to shut up :)

Do you agree with this quote? Do you have a story to share about a time when you did or didn’t listen to this advice?

Wednesday Words #2

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

This short statement is a call to action.  It is a reminder that we can talk all day about what bothers us about the world and that someone should do something about it, but nothing will change.  If the Lord has opened our eyes to a problem, there must be a reason.  The truth is, if we want to see a change, we must be the change.

Picture Font Credit: ‘No Fear’ by Jonathan S. Harris (http://www.fontspace.com/jonathan-s-harris/no-fear)